MRSA - The silent danger


October 2 is World MRSA Day. This day is intended to draw attention to the importance of antibiotic-resistant pathogens such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) for our health and the threat they can pose. Every year, around 33,000 people across Europe (1) die from infection with multi-resistant pathogens. With its product portfolio, schülke makes a significant contribution to reducing the risk of infection and protecting the health of patients.

New antibiotics have top priority

In view of the worldwide emergence of drug-resistant pathogens, antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective. Against this backdrop, WHO committed in 2015 to a global action plan to combat antibiotic resistance and in 2017 published a list of pathogens that are priorities for the development of new antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is among the pathogens given the highest priority. In addition, WHO emphasizes the importance of infection prevention and control strategies to reduce infections associated with medical treatments (2).

In order to raise awareness of MRSA and to promote commitment to measures to prevent and control MRSA in healthcare, we would like to share our knowledge around MRSA and contribute to that with our schülke products

Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common facultative pathogens that settle inconspicuously on body surfaces and only cause infection when the immune system is weakened. Up to 30 percent of people worldwide are colonized with Staphylococcus aureus (3). The ratio of methicillin-susceptible (MSSA) to methicillin-resistant (MRSA) Staphylococcus aureus isolates varies considerably in Europe and is, for example, < 5% in Germany, compared with > 25% in Portugal (4).

Colonization with MSSA or MRSA is not a clinical problem per se. However, under certain conditions, Staphylococcus aureus can cause a variety of mild to severe invasive infections. These infections usually occur in the course of medical treatment and include:

  • Bacteremia or sepsis
  • pneumonia
  • endocarditis
  • Wound infections and postoperative wound infections

MRSA prevention saves lives

Nasal colonization with MSSA, for example, is associated with a six- to sevenfold higher risk of developing a postoperative wound infection. In case of MRSA colonization, the risk is even up to nine times (5) higher than in non-colonized patients. The clinical picture of MSSA and MRSA infections does not differ. However, in elderly patients with postoperative wound infection caused by MSSA, mortality is increased fivefold, while surgical site infections caused by MRSA result in up to an elevenfold (6) increase in mortality. Therefore, prevention of MRSA transmission and infection is critical.

schülke's contribution in the fight against MRSA

Many MRSA infections can be prevented through consistent hygiene such as thorough hand washing and disinfection as well as careful (post-operative) wound care. The schülke product portfolio makes an important contribution in the fight against the silent danger MRSA.

3: Sakr A, Brégeon F, Mège JL, Rolain JM, Blin O. Staphylococcus aureus Nasal Colonization: An Update on Mechanisms, Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Subsequent Infections. Front Microbiol. 2018 Oct 8;9:2419. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02419. PMID: 30349525; PMCID: PMC6186810.
4: ECDC, Antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Europe, 2023
5: Anderson et al., 2017, Neurosurgery
6: McGarry S.A. et al., 2013: Surgical-site infection due to Staphylococcus aureus among elderly patients: Mortality, duration of hospitalization, and cost.

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